Tools & Technologies

OnePlace: Overview and 7 Pillars Analysis

OnePlace is a new hosted collaboration service from Riverock Technologies. The service combines three capabilities: team collaboration, project management, and personal productivity tools. Looking at OnePlace through the lens of the 7 Pillars gives you the following:

  1. Shared Access to Team Data … Workspaces, project tools (with hierarchical project support, and one workspace can host multiple projects), discussion, online notes, file sharing, lists, and more.
  2. Location Independence … Browser-based service, along with mobile device access — a special edition for the iPhone for example — but no offline capabilities.
  3. Real-Time Co-Authoring … There doesn’t appear to be any ability to share your screen in real-time with others.
  4. Team-Aware Calendaring … Calendaring capabilities, but without free-busy search.
  5. Social Engagement Tools … Team Central (for manually and automatically communicating status updates). There doesn’t appear to be presence and instant messaging as specific ways of helping with social engagement, but that’s less important than that there is something.
  6. Enterprise Action Management … Task management with filtering, sorting and grouping capabilities.
  7. Collaboration Auto-Discovery … Perhaps Team Central does some of this, combined with the tagging capabilities across the service.

So that gives a pass in three areas immediately … Pillar 1, 5 and 6, with varying levels of capability in the other 4.

There are some other nice capabilities as well, that the 7 Pillars doesn’t specifically call out … Such as a consolidated home page of each person’s key information, time tracking against projects, and reporting.

OnePlace is a for-fee service with 7 pre-defined pricing levels (see pricing plans), with the two differentiators being (a) number of workspaces, and (b) bundled storage. There is the ability to add workspaces or storage to any plan, giving some semblance of pricing customization to its customers. All of the plans offer a 30 day free trial period. It will be interesting to see whether the number of plans will get cut down over time — my sense is that it will as more people sign up and the OnePlace team see which plans are most popular (by comparison, 37signals Basecamp has four pricing levels ).

Once you sign up for OnePlace, you get a whole lot of material on the effective use of OnePlace … Eg, key concepts, best practices, usage scenarios, and more. Such material takes a lot of effort to develop.

(If you want another angle on OnePlace, see Steve Borsch’s write up at GTD Times, exploring how David Allen’s GTD methodology is supported by OnePlace.)

I’ve signed up for an account … Will let you know how it goes.

Categories: Tools & Technologies